It's a common misperception that tiki torches only occupy the realm of the rustic, tropical or thematic outdoor setting. Certainly, if you want to create that lost island feel for you and your guests, tiki torches are a natural accessory. Want to throw a party that will leave your guests feeling they've just enjoyed a mini vacation in the tropics? Again, tiki torches fit the bill nicely. But those with contemporary garden designs rich with statuary or granite features or heavily designed with masonry often overlook, or intentionally avoid, tiki torches in their outdoor lighting schemes. They just don't match, right? Wrong.

Stylish tiki torches that practically scream "classy" are a perfect garden accessory and their use in landscaping design can offer a practical, cost-effective alternative to in-ground lighting. The ever growing number of options available in metallic torches will provide you with options to compliment almost any theme.

Not only are brass, steel and aluminum tiki torches good fits for modern garden styles, they also offer substantially improved longevity over their organic material counterparts. I've replaced some of my bamboo and wooden models in as little as a year (my fault for leaving them out in a humid environment all year). My metal tiki torches are still outside and looking as good as new nearly 3 years after their purchase!

In addition to durability, metallic tiki torches come in an astounding variety of styles. Elegant fluted designs offer wonderful grace. Squat and bulbous tiki torches are great additions for table-tops and walls or for path lighting. Combinations of glass and metal sit at the pinnacle of elegance. One can even find torches that look like the old gas lanterns lining the streets of old London.

Another benefit to tiki torches as a modern garden lighting choice is the fuel option. By that, I mean that oil isn't the only choice available. Many modern styles offer propane as a fuel delivery system. Tanks are mounted to the torch post or situated on the ground by the torch. Some torches even sport wheels, allowing the owner to "cart" their torch and propane tank from one location to another. And don't worry, smaller (and more portable) tank sizes are available though you're welcome to go with the larger tanks commonly attached to backyard grills.

One feature I strongly favor with tiki torches is their mobility. Wired landscape lighting requires substantial effort if your design expectations change. You can't simply pickup and relocate a wired light without digging up its power source, too. Tiki torches can simply be pulled up and relocated either to accommodate design changes or to completely change the dynamics of your garden or event.

Finally, modern tiki torches are conversation pieces in their own right. The elegant and sometimes dramatic styles available can serve as beautiful accents to a well-planned garden or outdoor setting, evoking admiration even when unlit during the day.

With so many options and materials available, there is simply no good reason to overlook tiki torches for even contemporary garden settings. While they may not have been the first choice on your list, browse around a bit before you settle on wired lighting solutions for your garden. I expect you'll be pleasantly surprised to find a wide variety available and something that would be right at home in your elegant garden.

About the Author

Among other blogs, David writes for, a blog devoted to the care and maintenance of tiki torches and how to incorporate tiki torches in garden design.

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